On Patience

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is ever wasted. I thought I was writing a novel and it ended up being eight
hundred pages of crap around one thing that was real and alive, and
unfortunately all of the crap was necessary to arrive at that. If you do this,
every single time you do it, you learn stuff. That’s why there’s only one
question to ask yourself every day: “Did you write today?” If the answer’s yes,
it’s the only question you have to ask.

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I don’t
teach writing. I teach patience. Toughness. Stubborness. The willingness to
fail. I teach the life. The odd thing is most of the things that stop an
inexperienced writer are so far from the truth as to be nearly beside the
point. When you feel global doubt about your talent, that is your talent. People who have no talent don’t have any doubt. And
it’s figuring that out and learning how to put all that stuff behind you and
just do the work. Just go in and shake the black cue ball and see what

Bausch, Off the Page